Like many people, I eagerly anticipate the return of football season each September. Now that it’s here, I look forward to spirited Sunday afternoons spent watching and cheering on my home team, the Eagles, as they go on another championship run, and of course, snacking on some good ‘ole football food!
As much as I am a fan of the sport, I’m also a huge fan of all the tasty tailgating snacks that go along with football — pizza, burgers, chicken wings, nachos, and dips. Yummy! However, since last season, I have started eating better in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle, and I don’t plan on letting my old Sunday football eating habits derail me.
5 Tips for Healthy Tailgating
With football season underway, I’ve started to think about what I can do to make my favorite tailgating snacks healthier without sacrificing flavor. The American Heart Association has some great, easy tips to help make your favorite tailgate recipes healthier. Based on their tips, these are the things that I plan on doing to make sure my family’s tailgate party is tasty and healthy:
- Choose healthier meats, such as lean or extra-lean beef burgers, turkey burgers, or salmon burgers. I’m also going to experiment with replacing traditional fried chicken wings with grilled chicken breast strips and tossing them in a small amount of my favorite hot sauce. I can still have my heat without all the extra calories!
- Serve salsa and bean-based dips instead of other high-calorie dips, such as queso and French onion.
- Have vegetables, instead of chips, with my favorite dip.
- Use reduced-fat cheeses in my favorite recipes.
- Drink lots of water. Beer and sodas are usually a staple at any tailgate party, but water is always the best choice to keep you feeling full and hydrated.
Now that I have my meal plan worked out, I can focus on the game instead of keeping score of what I’m eating. When I celebrate the Eagles’ touchdowns this season, I can feel good knowing that I’ll be doing so with healthier food on my table — now that’s something to cheer about!
Want to be the MVP of your next tailgate party? Check out these healthier-for-you tailgate recipes:
- This rosemary-garlic white bean spread recipe sounds sensational, but it is also nutritious.
- Lean beef sliders from the American Heart Association will help you cut down on fat and portion size without cutting flavor — sounds like a winner!
- Mayo Clinic’s easy nacho skillet allows you to indulge in ooey gooey cheesy goodness without any of the guilt!
- Pizza? Yes, please! Try this three pepper pizza recipe for a healthy twist on a favorite comfort food.
Learn More About Healthy Eating
Want to learn how to make all your meals healthier? If you’re an IBX member, you may be covered for six free annual visits with a registered dietitian. Check to see if your plan covers nutrition counseling. To find a participating registered dietitian, primary care provider, or another network provider, Independence Blue Cross members can search our Provider Finder Tool or call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (1-800-275-2583) (TTY: 711).